If your son’s or daughter’s same-sex attraction has recently been disclosed to you most likely, you are in shock. You never saw it coming! This disclosure brings great sadness to most parents who have had dreams for their child since their birth. That dream is that your child would grow up healthy, get educated, marry the opposite gender love-of-their-life, and have a family of their own.
That dream just got crushed and you are devastated. You are in shock because another part of your child came forth that was hidden, the same-sex attracted part. You can’t believe that this big issue could be hidden all of their life. You are facing the greatest crisis of his/her life. I want you to know that there are many parents who have experienced the exact same thing and feel just as you do. I am sure of that because I see them in my office. You, like those other parents, will make it through this desert.
The first step in responding to your child’s disclosure is to not panic. Sit back, restrain yourself and seek the Lord as your refuge and strength. The natural reaction of parents is to determine as soon as possible, how to fix this problem in their child. Of course, you care and you want your child to be free from their same-sex attraction. This is an issue you can have an impact, however not by controlling your child.
You might say, “but what about AIDS,” and “what will people think,” and “this will ruin their future.” While these are important issues to address, the reality of your child’s same-sex attraction has been going on for years and your intervention is coming very late in their journey. The reality is that your child has been thinking about these issues for most of their lives and regardless of the potential harm, they have overridden any health or spiritual concerns with his/her addiction to the same-sex.
The most dangerous action a parent can take is to start controlling their child in order to prevent them from acting on their same-sex attraction. This is your greatest fear! This control includes restricting your child from leaving the house or initiating a 24/7 surveillance of him/her. If you do this, it will push your child further from you. He/she will either fight you over their same-sex addiction, or lie to you and work around you to continue the relationship. In my 15 years of working with families, I have never seen the over exerting of control prosper.
Many parents fear that God will judge them and their child because the child is moving counter to God’s plans. While same-sex attraction is counter to God’s intention for men and women, leveraging the word of God at this time will not prosper either. God is working in your family’s life at this time by disclosing the child’s sexual orientation. At this moment what is needed is unconditional love.
Face the Critical Decision
I suggest that you consider the most critical decision you will make in this journey. The decision is whether you will increase the controls on your child in order for them to conform to your standards and push him/her away or you will embrace your child. The implications are long term. I have seen many times where parents control the child and it drives the child so far away from the parents that the relationship becomes estranged. In some cases the parents have lost contact with the child permanently. The preferred option is for the parents to stay connected with the child by loving them regardless of the poor choices they make.
While you may feel out of control, loving your child unconditionally will maintain the relationship long term. Why is this so important? It is obvious that most parents want to be in relationship with their child their entire lives. The greater opportunity here is that parents can be influential in the transformation of their child’s same-sex attraction. If you are cut off from your child, you both lose. You lose the relationship and the opportunity to witness God’s transformation in your child’s life.